Did Jerry West Ever Coach in the NBA?

Did Jerry West Ever Coach in the NBA?

Did Jerry West Ever Coach in the NBA?

Photo By Heinz Kluetmeier / Sports Illustrated

Jerry West, aka "Mr. Clutch" or "The Logo," had a remarkable basketball career that has left a lasting impression on the game.

This article will provide a better view of Jerry West's career and answer the question: has he ever been a coach in the NBA?

Specifically, we will break down his playing career, his entry into coaching, his coaching record, and why he made the career decisions he did.

The NBA's Career of Jerry West

Jerry West was born on May 28, 1938, in Chelyan, West Virginia. He had an impressive playing career in the NBA, synonymous with great basketball.

The greatest guard in NBA history who, during his career with the Los Angeles Lakers, over 14 years, committed a certain career-high 31 consecutive fouls is winning the Nobel Prize for his on-court success.

14 All-Star appearances

  • 12 All-NBA honors
  • Five All-Defensive Teams
  • NBA championship

He became just the third player in league history to hit 25,000 points.

West was a 14-time All-Star in his career; he made the team every season he played and went to the NBA Finals with Los Angeles nine times.

That only begins to scratch the surface of his story.

West, with his quick release, was the guy the Lakers went to for the big basket when they needed it most. His greatest buzzer beater was a 60-foot swish that tied Game 3 of the 1970 NBA Finals vs. New York.

Move to Coaching and Coaching Record

Jerry West did, in fact, become an NBA coach after his playing days. He would be named head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1976–77 season.

The Lakers posted a 145-101 record and ended a six-year playoff drought over the three seasons West was in charge. In the NBA, his coaching record is 145-101.

West showed during his coaching career that he could raise the level of his play when the lights shined brightest, keeping his same relentless pursuit of achieving success that defined his time on the court.

After Coaching Career and Achievements

West remained active in the NBA in several front-office and management capacities in subsequent years after retiring as a coach.

Save for a three-year stint with the Lakers as a scout and then as general manager in 1982, astutely piecing together the Lakers' 1980s juggernaut.

West also served in front office capacities with the Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors, and LA Clippers. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1979 and was named the NBA Executive of the Year in 1995 after the Lakers recorded their best record in four seasons.

The Checkered History of Jerry West as a Coach

The move from coaching into the front office demonstrated a lifelong dedication to the game, and of his time, Jerry West, as a coach, let alone a front office executive, was remembered.

He cemented his legacy in basketball through another game-winning shot that called him a basketball icon for his ability to lead the Lakers to the playoffs and his work as a general manager of the franchise.

While never entering a full-time coaching role, West left an indelible mark on the NBA as a player, coach, and executive that forever changed the history of the league and the sport of basketball.

The NBA items of desire associated with the storied life and career of Jerry West are varied and wide-ranging, to say the least. His status as a player and coach has inspired basketball fans for generations. And his mark on the NBA has staying power.


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